Discovering Great Mormon Buildings

Mesa 2nd Ward Exterior

North side of building

15 W 1st Ave
Mesa, AZ
Architect: Louis Alexander
Chapel Built 1934
Map Location of Building

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4 responses

  1. seshat

    Wow.

    I realize I’m revealing a geographical bias here, but I have a visceral reaction to that building and its landscaping, right down to the palm trees. There’s some part of me that thinks that’s pretty much what a church should look like.

    April 5, 2011 at 10:37 am

    • I agree it is quite a beautiful building. Interestingly, the original design for the building was quite different, and I will document the changes to the building in separate posts. The chapel to the right is original, but almost nothing else is. There was a second volume (I believe the cultural hall) to the left and a courtyard in the middle. The courtyard is still there, but is wrapped on all sides now with the entry and tower. In fact, walking into the main entry, you are still outside – directly into a covered portion of the courtyard. Some of the changes can be seen in several blacked-out windows in the chapel, which is unfortunate. Overall it is nice to see buildings that grow over time in an intelligent, proportional and thoughtful way.

      April 5, 2011 at 9:07 pm

  2. seshat

    Many of your entries include construction dates…. Hate to be a demanding blog reader, but do you have the dates for either the original construction or the remodel? I’m betting it was remodeled earlier rather than later.

    My dad was born and raised in southern Arizona, and he mentioned once that all LDS chapels in that area had courtyards for parties and dances.

    The chapel I attended growing up had a courtyard and lots of very beautiful landscaping. It was an absolutely terrific place to go to primary back when it was held on a weekday–so many places to play hide-n-go-seek and kick the can and all sorts of games we invented!

    The building was remodeled twice, once very nicely before WWII (don’t know the year, but hey, I don’t blog about Mormon architecture (-: ) and once less successfully in the late 1960s. And then it was demolished in the early 80s after a fire in it as bad as the one in the Provo tabernacle.

    My church wasn’t as downright beautiful as this building, but it was graceful in its own way, with lots of dignity, character and charm. I admit that reading your blog sometimes really make me miss it.

    April 6, 2011 at 7:35 am

  3. mcarp

    I spent a week in Arizona (Mesa, in fact) and the only LDS buildings I saw were the cookie-cutter buildings that look exactly like the ones in Utah, Idaho, etc.

    I’d love to see more of these unique buildings preserved.

    April 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm

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